Teach a kid to fish, and they acquire a skill, feed the family for a day, and gain an appreciation for the outdoors. 

At least that’s the goal of Urban American Outdoors, who’s hosting the Urban Kids Fishing Derby at Spring Valley Park next month.  

Bobbers hit the water from 9 a.m. to noon on June 17 with youngsters aged 4 to 16 competing for the grand prize of $100 and awards for the biggest and smallest fish caught on the day. 

The Urban Kids Fishing Derby is a free activity on Father’s Day and Juneteenth weekend, and families are encouraged to join alongside kids. The first 100 kids to register will receive a free fishing pole. 

“This is fishing with a purpose,” says Urban American Outdoors co-founder Wayne Hubbard. “Our goal is to reach diverse urban, suburban, and rural communities; to have them look at outdoor recreation and fishing as something they can be engaged in.”

The Urban Kids Fishing Derby supports catch and eat, with families allowed to take the limit home for eating.

The derby emphasizes the significance of a shared family experience. Parents and guardians are encouraged to accompany their children and to bring chairs, bait, and a bucket or stringer. Alongside the fishing competition, attendees will be treated to complimentary water and grilled hot dogs provided by Gates BBQ. 

Spring Valley Park’s pond is stocked with hybrid bluegill, catfish, bass, trout, and perch. Unlike traditional catch-and-release practices, the derby promotes “catch and eat,” allowing families to take home a limit of fish and enjoy a meal together.

“A lot of people do catch-and-release,” says Hubbard. “ We do catch and eat, so we ensure that if you want to take the limit home and help the family, you can.” 

Founded in 1998, Urban American Outdoors aims to engage with diverse audiences, including the Black community, to connect with the outdoors. Urban American Outdoors also has a nationally syndicated television show by the same name, which airs locally Saturday mornings on 38 The Spot. 

Early registration for the Urban Kids Fishing Derby is encouraged. Register for free on Urban American Outdoors’ website, bit.ly/3W9plcx